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Showing posts from February 1, 2014

Corporations' 'Trade Secrets' Trump Public Health

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[As usual, we don't have even this much protection in Canada. *RON*]

New database created to let consumers know if personal care products contain carcinogens, but 'trade secrets' claim lets companies skirt transparency - Andrea Germanos, staff writer

Corporate power seems to be thwarting the public's right to know if the personal care products they use contain potentially harmful ingredients.

To err is human, to forgive is animal

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[Forgiveness and reconciliation reduces anxieties in wallabies. *RON*]

BY REBECCA JACOBSON January 30, 2014 at 1:00 AM EST

“To err is human, to forgive divine.” While conflict in any social group is inevitable, a study published Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE found that animals, too, are capable of reconciling after fights.

Scientists from the University of Pisa, Italy, observed red-necked wallabies at the Tierparc Zoo in Berlin. In the wild, wallabies are solitary, but they frequently share feeding grounds. Occasionally, the marsupials get aggressive with each other.

They found that reconciliation depended on how intense the fight became. The wallabies demonstrated signs of making up after a low-intensity fight, grooming and playing with their former foe. Not only did they forgive, researchers found, but both victim and aggressor demonstrated reduced anxiety for both parties once they had reconciled.

Nestlé CEO: Let God Handle Global Warming

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[Climate denialism taken to new heights. *RON*]

BY REBECCA LEBER ON JANUARY 31, 2014 AT 6:38 PM
Climate change threatens one of the single most crucial ingredients at Nestlé, the world’s largest food company. However, instead of demanding for aggressive action to cut carbon emissions, Nestlé’s chairman denies that humans are the cause of global warming at all.
In an interview with The Guardian, Nestlé Chairman Peter Brabeck argued against climate action, arguing the change in global temperature is natural and cyclical — a familiar point from the climate denier playbook. He worried that confronting the issue is similar to humans playing “God”:

Book Review: Empire's Ally: The U.S. and Canada

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[On the New Imperialism, and Canada's role and aspirations therein. *RON*]


By Conn Hallinan(about the author)
Book Review
Empire's Ally: Canada and the War in Afghanistan
Edited by Jerome Klassen and Greg Albo
University of Toronto Press
Toronto Buffalo London 2013

Americans tend to think of Canadians as politer and more sensible than their southern neighbors, thus the joke: "Why does the Canadian chicken cross the road? To get to the middle." Oh, yes, bit of a "muddle" there in Afghanistan, but like Dudley Do Right, the Canadians were only trying to develop and tidy up the place.

Not in the opinion of Jerome Klassen and a formidable stable of academics, researchers, journalists, and peace activists who see Canada's role in Central Asia less as a series of policy blunders than a coldly calculated strategy of international capital. "Simply put," writes Klassen, "the war in Afghanistan was always linked to the a…

B.C. justice minister will look into recording devices for RCMP, police

See the original story here.

[At last, someone who really needs to be surveilled might be! This excellent idea has become an increasingly common practice in the US. The RCMP are such an old-boys' club that it's hard to guess if this will fly here. *RON*]

CP | By The Canadian Press Posted: 01/31/2014 3:10 pm EST | Updated: 01/31/2014 4:59 pm EST

VANCOUVER - B.C. Justice Minister Suzanne Anton says she'll talk to RCMP and municipal police about a coroner's jury recommendation that emergency response team members start wearing audio and video recording devices on duty.

Keystone Pipeline Will Impact Climate Change, State Department Reports

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["Just running the pipeline for a year once built would result in the same greenhouse gas pollution as roughly 300,000 cars over the same time span, and the oil carried by the pipeline could add as much as 27 million metric tons of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere each year, most of that from its ultimate use as fuel." *RON*]

By David Biello | January 31, 2014

How much can one oil pipeline affect global climate change? That’s one of the fundamental questions probed by a new, final environmental impact assessment released January 31 by the U.S. State Department. At issue is the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry 730,000 barrels a day of oil from western Canada, mostly from Alberta’s tar sands, but also 100,000 barrels per day of oil fracked from the Bakken Shale in North Dakota. Much of that oil is already being produced and is being transported by other means, such as railroads.

Canadian hydro gambles big on U.S. export market -- but at what cost?

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["A lot of these projects are being greenwashed as renewable energy, but they're not really. They're destroying river systems.... Projects built in Quebec would not be able to be built in the United States." Of course, you also need to ask yourself: is it so unthinkable that their energy should be expensive, and so acceptable that the region should endlessly grow? *RON*]

Colin Sullivan, E&E reporterEnergyWire: Friday, January 31, 2014

NEW YORK -- The Northeast's power conundrum is well-known: In a nutshell, nuclear appears to be on the way out, coal is a nonstarter, local natural gas cracked from shale isn't entirely welcome, and technologies like wind and solar are still struggling to prove viability as base-load electricity.

On top of that, pipeline expansion into the region continues to face obstacles, both financial and political, while micro-grids are emerging but immature. The net result is the Northeast still pays some o…